Ukulele group extends invitation to newcomers

The Mentone Ukes group taught by Mickey Luck and Jerry Megli meets at the Moon Lake Community Library every other Saturday at 1 p.m. Organizer Debra Fey recommends newcomers follow them on Facebook at Mentone Ukes for regular updates and changes in schedule times. For additional information or to join, call 404-630-2918 or email debrajfey@gmail.com. 

The Mentone Ukes are a group who meet twice a month at the Moon Lake Community Library to learn how to play the ukulele. The Mentone Ukes had their first gathering in February of 2020. Classes are taught by Mickey Luck and Jerry Megli. The group is kept up to date and organized by Debra Fey. “We try to have the meeting every other Saturday at 1 p.m.,” said Fey. “Sometimes events like festivals and holidays interfere with the schedule so it is best to follow us on Facebook or email me.”

COVID-19 has put their playing at public events on hold for the time being, but future plans hopefully include playing at festivals, churches, nursing facilities and the like. The age of the attendees range from elementary school age to retirement age. Fey said every skill set is welcomed and they are inviting new comers to come take a look at the fun they are having. “Bring a friend,” said Fey.

The library is large enough to allow for social-distancing and everyone chooses for themselves whether to wear a mask or not. Those who decide to become a student will be given a 25-page beginner’s packet with everything needed to get them started.

There is no fee to learn to play, but each person is responsible to provide their own ukulele. Online shopping sources have selections at varying prices.

While guitars generally have six strings, ukulele’s have four which makes learning to play this musical instrument a bit easier in comparison. Another way in which the ukulele is different from a guitar is that the ukulele comes in a size suitable for children. Ukulele’s come in four main sizes known as soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone; listed from smallest to largest. They are tuned in the same manner, so when you learn to play one, you can play them all.

As the size varies so do the number of frets on the instrument. Soprano is 12-15 frets, Concert is 15-20 frets, Tenor 15-25 frets, and Baritone is 18 + frets. The bigger the fret board the more space between the frets, making the instrument easier to play with larger hands. Also, the bigger the body of the instrument the bigger the tone, deeper the sound, and greater the output.

Most of the selection of musical choices the class plays are of a traditional nature. Songs like; If I Had a Hammer, Jambalaya, Sloop John B., Where Have All the Flowers Gone, The Sweet Sunny South, East Virginia Blues, and Great Speckle.

Contact: debrajfey@gmail.com or call 404-630-2918. The Moon Lake Community Library is located at 4607 AL. HWY. 117, Mentone.

The Mentone Ukes Motto: “Strum to be happy.”

— Marla Ballard’s Who's Who appears in the Times-Journal Wednesday and weekend editions.

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